Marketing or Doing What You Do Best:
Most business owners understand the importance of marketing, but is that where they should be putting their precious time and energy? What do you believe would be most effective?
Let’s break each one down to find the best fit for you. We will start at the least expensive, but most time intensive to the reverse.
Do it yourself:
This is a two-fold effort.
1. You first need to find someone that knows what they are talking about. You have to check out blogs, forums and websites of known SEOs and marketing magazines. Books are of almost no use except for the most basic of knowledge. As you will learn, SEO and inbound marketing are in a constant state of flux as Google and Bing continue to try to improve the experience for the SEARCHER, not the marketer.
2. Now you need to take everything you’ve learned and put it into action. Not knowing what you are doing can sometimes end with you doing more harm than good. If this is for your brick and mortar business, you want to make sure you have a handle on what you are doing before jumping in after only reading a couple articles and a blog post. Keep in mind that this is also time that you will spend NOT doing what it is you went into business to do.
Although this of course costs you no actual money, you have to figure out what your time is worth. What is your value per hour and how much of that time will you spend learning and doing online marketing. You may find it is not quite the bargain it may seem at first glance.
Hiring a consultant:
This is the same as doing it yourself with one huge advantage. If you hire a great consultant, you don’t have to keep up with anything, that’s their job. So the odds of doing any harm go down substantially. (but always still possible). Consultants make a living doing step one. Look and find one that doesn’t do it ‘on the side’ or as a ‘second income’. You want someone that makes their entire living doing it. That puts the odds in your favor, as they live or die by the success they can bring their clients.
Hiring a freelance worker:
This is now flip-flopped of hiring a consultant. You need to be able to give them the instructions needed to do tasks. Most freelance workers (like on Odesk, Guru, and Freelance) are task oriented. They are looking to do a ‘job’ and expect to be given directions with a clear set of goals they are to reach to get paid. They are NOT invested in your success, but in completing the task. Here you also run the risk of hiring a worker to do something that may or may not get you results. Same as doing it yourself, you just exchange time with money.
Hiring a marketing company:
With this option it is the exact opposite as doing it yourself. You now have to invest little to no work yourself, but have to pay the premium for having everything done and done right. Like I mentioned when hiring a consultant, make sure you hire a company that is not just a sole proprietor doing it ‘on the side’ to supplement their income. You want to find one that lives and dies by their sword. Make sure they practice what they preach and can give you examples of successfully doing what it is you are hiring them for.
Having two companies come talk to you at the same time is a pretty good strategy to see what they say when they have a competitor that knows the jargon sitting there also. They are much less likely to try to “blow smoke” if they know they may get caught. If they are not willing to meet with competition there, there is a pretty good chance we know as to why. Don’t fall for “proprietary information”. Online marketing is not a big secret. It is an ever changing effort and time consuming, but not some big secret.
I hope this helps you make the right decision for your business. One thing is certain – the internet will not be going away and is the best way to find people that are looking for what it is you do. It would always be in your best interest to know as much as time allows, even if you take option 4. Most marketing companies will set you up the right way and make it so any other marketing company could step in and take over if you have a parting of the ways or they retire.
You should ALWAYS be in control of all your accounts, domains and hosting. If you are not, there is a chance, if you hire an unscrupulous company, of having your website held hostage. Make sure to watch your own back and always maintain control of your information.
Max Power Marketing is available as a consultant and as a marketing company. Please give us a call if you need help or have questions about your marketing needs. Also feel free to leave comments below if you would like me to clarify anything.